In the last two years, we can see the growth of retail brands gradually establishing their presence in the metaverse. And as metaverse technology continues to evolve, it is becoming more adaptable for e-commerce and social commerce sectors. It has also become necessary for retailers to grab the opportunities that web3 presents and adapt them as early as possible so that brands can grow with the technology and flourish parallelly with the virtual worlds.
Today, with many metaverse platforms in the market, it is easy for brands to build their store in the metaverse and seamlessly provide tailored experiences to their target audience. Metaverse shopping experiences are similar to the in-person shopping experience, where customers will come to your physical store, know your products, experience them and buy them if they like.
And in the metaverse, customers can interact with the products through their digital avatars. Customers can walk through the virtual store, check the digital twins of the products, digitally try and test the products, collect information, clear their queries through virtual assistants, and also make purchases.
This article will guide you on utilising metaverse to the fullest for your brand's growth and success.
How have retailers been using metaverse till now?
Metaverse as a technology is still in its nascent stage, and till now, retail brands are experimenting with the new platform. Retailers use the early metaverse to develop awareness and brand awareness to the young generation, improve engagement and loyalty, and learn the technology.
Many global brands like Gucci, Hermes, H&M. Nike, Burberry, etc., are now actively using NFTs and in-game stores to establish their early presence in the metaverse and generate attention towards their brand among the metaverse users. NFTs and in-game stores in meta games were the go-to options for the retail brands until the metaverse platforms came into the market.
Because till then, metaverse needed powerful software and hardware or had a solid gaming background, making it difficult for the brands to connect with the audience. With the metaverse platforms, virtual worlds became accessible through the desktop, apps or mobile, it became most cost-effective, and the users' range also started augmenting.
Now brands can efficiently build their virtual store or rent a store in any virtual shopping mall and place their product out to their target audience. And before, when the metaverse wasn't flexible, most transactions were happening through cryptos, but now with the metaverse platforms, the audience can purchase using real-time money from your meta stores.
With NFTs and in-game stores, brands were selling products only for the avatars, but now, retailers started creating exclusive products for the metaverse audience and which users can buy there in the virtual world, and the product will be later delivered to the users.
What can retail brands do right now?
- Start with research and planning - As said earlier, the metaverse as a technology still needs to evolve to accommodate social commerce entirely. Hence, brands have the time to do their research and plan to enter into the virtual worlds. Brands need deep research and analysis, from choosing the metaverse platform, product catalogue, venue, and other content to building a marketing and content strategy.
- Define your audience and offerings - After understanding the scope of the virtual world and its user base, you need to decide what you can offer and whom you will target. It is crucial to analyse the probability of your current customers adapting the technology shortly and becoming your customers in the metaverse too.
- Check the competitors - Start researching about your peer companies and inspect how they have drafted their entry into the metaverse. Look how they are integrating with their physical and metaverse branding strategies and combinedly taking their brand into more significant success. Check what they are offering to their audience, how immersive their content is, and most importantly, how they engage with their customers.
- Design your entry - Plan your entry when the research part is covered. Start choosing the metaverse platform, systems, software and tools that can helps in making your metaverse entry smooth and seamless. It would be best if you started creating content to provide an immersive experience to your audience. Formulating your brand strategy in the metaverse is essential.
- Create a strong marketing strategy - As the technology by itself is new, and most brands are yet to explore it, a highly focused marketing strategy is a must. Metaverse, being a digital platform, will be purely a data-driven platform, so you can analyse the data and strategise your content according to data insights. If the marketing is appropriately planned and the content is really immersive, the metaverse platform will boost engagement and retention by itself as any other social media does.
- Keep a balance - Virtual worlds are highly captivating in nature, so it is essential to know the challenges your brand might face, so it is advisable to keep the game slow in the metaverse at the initial stage. Always be prepared to face the risks and challenges; if anything stops or slows down the growth, you need to retaliate sooner.
How can retailers utilise the metaverse for the next big thing?
If you have decided to enter the virtual world, here are a few early opportunities the metaverse provides that you need to utilise fully.
- Connecting with Gen z and Gen Alpha - Metaverse as a platform is mainly preferred by younger generations, who are the potential upcoming customers and purchasers. So, with good content, you can grab their attention and build a relationship with them.
- Establish phygital (physical + digital) medium - Retailers can build a combined medium of physical and metaverse stores. It will be a providing excellent user experience. For example, you can set up systems or apps at your physical store and let your audience explore your virtual store. They can virtually try on the exclusive products in the meta store and purchase them.
- Organise community events - You can organise events in the metaverse and provide an enriching experience to your audience. It can be any event, including a product launch, annual sales fair, product exhibitions or any other fun and entertaining customer relationship maintenance event.
- Marketing via gaming worlds - You can integrate with the existing metaverse games and sell your products or services in their in-app store; it is a good marketing strategy to reach your brand awareness to users on that platform.
With a whole new universe of opportunities, brands need to start researching and unleash their creativity to build a solid and successful existence in the metaverse. Metaverse would help the brands build a close relationship with their audience, so it comes with lots of advantages.
Though brands are still now just exploring the metaverse with NFTs and in-game stores, the introduction of simplified metaverse platforms in the market has changed the plot. It has reduced the complicated process of establishing stores in the metaverse and largely streamlined e-commerce in virtual worlds.
Altyug is a metaverse platform where businesses can seamlessly create virtual experiences that resonate with reality and let their audience enjoy immersive experiences. It comes with endless possibilities and offers everything to establish your business in the metaverse, including virtual stores, third-party commerce systems and tools, communication features, and much more.